The following chapter contains graphic depictions of gore. Reader discretion is advised.
"Your Highness, Prince Zion!"
Had all the knights in the palace gathered? A middle-aged knight, seemingly the oldest among the ten knights, walked out and shouted at Zion. He was Wolfent Beer, the knight in charge of defending Chimseong Palace. Now, his face was distorted with confusion and anger.
"How did Alec... no, why did you kill Alec?"
He hadn't believed it when one of the knights reported the matter to him, but that was exactly what the situation suggested.
The owner of the palace, Prince Zion Agnes, was born with a frail body. As a result, he was unable to even temper his physical body, let alone make attainments in "Astral"1, the Imperial family's ability. It was difficult to accept that such a prince severed the knight's neck with his bare hands, as though they were sharp blades.
However, as if betraying his conviction, Alec's neck was rolling on the ground. His mind still refused to affirm that Prince Zion killed Alec without any external aid, but the evidence clearly pointed towards that conclusion.
"Wouldn't it be strange to pardon him after he committed such a grave crime?" Zion responded to Wolfent's question in a relaxed manner.
Something was different. Previously, Prince Zion had not even been able to address Wolfent without stuttering and lowering his gaze. However, he was now staring directly into Wolfent's eyes. Moreover, his eyes betrayed a deep calm and apathy. Those eyes instilled Wolfent with a strong sense of alienation.
What is this...
"And it's the same for you guys."
Zion muttered as he calmly neared the knights.
"Since you all have committed four crimes2 warranting death, there's no need for me to provide any justification."
Wolfent didn't sense any momentum or force; Zion was simply walking leisurely. However, his figure induced a sense of dread.
He knows we were involved in last night's attack.
In fact, it would be more bizarre to overlook such an obvious correlation.
He assumed it was inconsequential even if the prince became aware, but he was mistaken. At this time, Prince Zion was attempting to punish them by questioning them about the crime.
A gloomy voice escaped Wolfent's lips as he watched Zion with a shaky gaze.
"...I'm going to kill the prince here."
Regardless, he had already tried to clandestinely murder Prince Zion, so even if he attempted it once more, it wouldn't make a difference. He was slightly discomfited by the fact that the knights of the imperial palace sought to directly harm the prince. However, yielding to their demands was preferable to dying. Even if the imprisoned prince were to die, the Imperial Palace would not take action. And even if they did, it was obvious that those they served would cover for them.
Perhaps they agreed with Wolfent's decision, as several knights standing further behind began to draw their swords as well.
"Your Highness, Prince Zion!" Seeing that, Fredo called out to Zion urgently.
But Zion, who was staring at the knights at that time, simply smiled in response. It seemed as though he had been waiting for this moment.
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